As a plugged-in reader points out, the vast majority (71 percent) of the nearly 7,000 homeless now living on the streets or in the shelters of San Francisco once had a permanent residence in the city.
Nearly half (49 percent) those who once had a permanent residence in the city had maintained it for at least ten years.
And of the minority of homeless who have migrated here from other parts of the state or country (29 percent), a greater percentage of those have done so in search of work (25 percent) than to partake in the so-called liberal social services the City provides (22 percent).
While the reason for one becoming homeless is typically the result of multiple and compounding causes, a quarter (25 percent) of those surveyed in early 2015 reported job loss as the primary cause, followed by substance abuse (18 percent). Having been evicted (13 percent) was the third highest reported cause of becoming homeless, a primary cause which had tripled since 2011.
The greatest reported barrier of being able to secure permanent housing is being able to afford rent, followed by simply securing a job, with only eight percent of those surveyed reporting that permanent housing isn’t something they sought.
The primary reported obstacle to securing employment in order to be able to afford a permanent residence and rent in San Francisco? The catch-22 lack of a permanent address.
And for the first time in the history of ASR’s bi-annual Homeless Survey, Age and Disability are top five obstacles as well.